Regional variation in tissue composition and biomechanical properties of postmenopausal ovine and human vagina

Daniela Ulrich, Sharon Lee Edwards, Vincent Letouzey, Kai Su, Jacinta White, Anna Rosamilia, Caroline Eve Gargett, Jerome Anthony Werkmeister

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There are increasing numbers of reports describing human vaginal tissue composition in women with and without pelvic organ prolapse with conflicting results. The aim of this study was to compare ovine and human posterior vaginal tissue in terms of histological and biochemical tissue composition and to assess passive biomechanical properties of ovine vagina to further characterise this animal model for pelvic organ prolapse research. STUDY DESIGN: Vaginal tissue was collected from ovariectomised sheep (n?=?6) and from postmenopausal women (n?=?7) from the proximal, middle and distal thirds. Tissue histology was analyzed using Masson s Trichrome staining; total collagen was quantified by hydroxyproline assays, collagen III/I+III ratios by delayed reduction SDS PAGE, glycosaminoglycans by dimethylmethylene blue assay, and elastic tissue associated proteins (ETAP) by amino acid analysis. Young s modulus, maximum stress/strain, and permanent strain following cyclic loading were determined in ovine vagina. RESULTS: Both sheep and human vaginal tissue showed comparable tissue composition. Ovine vaginal tissue showed significantly higher total collagen and glycosaminoglycan values (p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere104972
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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